Midway through my sophomore year of high school, I was in the chorus for the musical “The King and I”. I was a small fifteen-year-old with an even smaller chorus role: “Scientific Dog #1”. My job—as alpha–was literally to crawl out onto the stage and (with my two other scientific beta dogs behind me) sniff, point, and then continue off the stage with the rest of my pack. My time on stage was about 15 seconds total. Since it was a “ballet” within the musical, I must say that it was more dramatic and graceful than I am making it sound, but nonetheless, I was a 15-second-dog. It felt funny to think it was anything really special when I looked around at the incredible lead and supporting actors and saw what they did. I suppose if I hadn’t been so naive and giddy as a teenager, I may have fallen into the lies that tell us we aren’t good enough for the lead role, or that being a “scientific dog” was a joke, but I was having too much fun to care.
Perhaps some people get their 15 minutes of fame in life, but I got a good fifteen seconds. After the show, when the cast was released to greet the crowd, I was swarmed by accolades which, even I felt were disproportionate to my canine abilities. It was a great moment in a young life, but I knew that the real credit was due to the many amazing cast members and crew who had spent exponentially greater time practicing with reverence for their art and tremendous talent. Still, I knew I had been part of something amazing.
A sense of worth in a community is extremely important in life. Creating and investing ourselves in something bigger than we are is what God calls us to do, and it’s where we feel fulfilled. When we aren’t in communion with those around us, something awful starts to happen. When we are alone, we can fall prey to the (at first tiny) voice of the enemy. He gets our ear, tells us why we we aren’t good enough, why other people are better and why we might as well give up. When we are together, we have the power of truth. Something happens to us when we hear words of truth. They break off lies and thoughts inconsistent with God’s design for our lives.
Today, I want to say I am so very sorry for the times you have been left alone. I am sorry you felt abandoned, not good enough, and on the outside of humanity; as we all sometimes do. But I also want to challenge you reading this, not to listen to the darkness. YOU were created for LOVE, my friend. You are loved whether you accept that or not. Even if you don’t believe in God, He believes in you, and so do I. Your life is not an accident; no one’s is and every. single. person. counts. Are you reading this? Yes, because it’s no accident you were meant to hear this today.
We all need something you have, so don’t hide. Even the chorus counts, and the background is where some of the most fun happens. If you feel your heart fall after looking around at all the “Scientific Dogs” in the world (I know, I know, but don’t be jealous of me) and you hear a whisper saying you aren’t good enough, tell it to shut the heck up and beat it! Scram! It isn’t from God. You too could one day have your 15-second-sniff, and people will think you deserve an academy award.